Praying What Is Promised
A daily devotion for July 27th
4I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
6"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began (John 17:5).
Jesus is praying that He might resume now the full manifestations of deity. He had laid them aside when He came into the world, taking upon Himself the limitations of humanity. When our Lord was here He did not go around showing people how God behaved; He showed them how humanity behaved--humanity indwelt by God, as God intended humanity to be. And all that you see in Jesus during the days of His flesh is a perfect humanity. His deity was hidden. He didn't give it up--you can't give up what you are--but He laid aside the exercise of it. Now He is asking that the Father will restore to Him that expression of deity that was His before the world was made. By this He is praying for the resurrection and the ascension to follow--that the Father would raise Him from the dead in glory and then later cause Him to ascend to heaven to be with Him as He was before the world was made. He needs this in order to perform the work of giving eternal life to all those whom the Father would bring to Him out of every succeeding generation. It is as God that He gives us eternal life.
There is a tremendous lesson here about prayer. Was it not already God's program that if the Son were crucified He would be raised from the dead and ascend into the heavens? Yet when the hour comes, Jesus asks the Father to do this. He prays for this glory that was already promised to Him. This helps us a great deal in understanding prayer.
Many people say to me,
Why should I pray? God has already programmed my life. He knows what I'm going to do and what's going to happen to me, so why should I ask Him to do anything? It's all going to happen anyway. That position totally ignores the revelation of the Scriptures that prayer is a part of the process by which God brings to pass what He has already proposed to do. James tells us,
You do not have, because you do not ask God (James 4:2b). If you do not ask, it will not happen, because it breaks the link by which God proposes to bring it about. Therefore prayer is vital, and our Lord gives us this example. He prays for that which was already promised him. Prayer is always based upon the promises of God.
Thank You, Father, that by inviting us to pray, You allow us to take part in the fulfillment of Your eternal purposes.
Life Application: Why should we pray if God knows what is going to happen? Have we learned to pray based on the promises of God?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.